In 2008, Laurel Ptak, founder of the blog iheartphotograph, curated 67 artist-made GIFs for Graphics Interchange Format, an exhibition at Brooklyn’s Bond Street Gallery. The gallery no longer exists and neither does the website that formerly hosted those GIFs. As Paddy noted in her “A Brief History of Animated GIF Art” series on artnet News, the lack of an online archive poses a problem for piecing together the format’s history.
Though we can’t poof the Graphics Interchange Format site back into existence, we can do what we’re good at: googling. All week we’re going to search the web for GIFs that were in the exhibition. For historians, artists, and consumers of net art, this GIFt’s for you.
The response to archiving GIFs this week has been great, but out of the 67 artists in the show, it’s been a bit harder to find work from the ladies in the exhibition. So, today we bring you Emily Larned‘s “Binaries” series. Larned is not interested in the future of new tech; she’s the co-founder of ILSSA: Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts, an organization focused on using obsolete technology. GIFs are by no means obsolete, but they have been around for some time—since 1987. Here, she pairs GIFs with other versions of on-their-way-out technologies, crafts, and techniques. What’s old is new, what’s work is play, and so on and so forth.